Turn off cellular vs airplane mode

jayes

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 11, 2011
176
2
I'm thinking about my next trip out of the country. Is "turn off cellular" the same as turning on airplane mode and then turning wifi on? Do both actions accomplish the same thing? Just want to make sure I won't get dinged for roaming when I use my iPhone for music and camera.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,542
6,500
Florida, USA
This is actually one of the biggest flaws of Airplane mode.

GPS is only a receiver. It does not transmit. Therefore there is NO REASON to turn it off when you enable airplane mode. Yet it does.

The only way to completely disable the cellular radio without turning off GPS is to remove your SIM card or set a PIN on the SIM card and not enter it after rebooting.

Apple should fix this, by either:

- Adding a separate GPS switch along with Wi-Fi.
- Not having airplane mode turn off the GPS receiver.
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,188
114
This is actually one of the biggest flaws of Airplane mode.

GPS is only a receiver. It does not transmit. Therefore there is NO REASON to turn it off when you enable airplane mode. Yet it does.

The only way to completely disable the cellular radio without turning off GPS is to remove your SIM card or set a PIN on the SIM card and not enter it after rebooting.

Apple should fix this, by either:

- Adding a separate GPS switch along with Wi-Fi.
- Not having airplane mode turn off the GPS receiver.
My GPS doesn't get disabled when I'm using Aeroplane mode.
 

jayes

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 11, 2011
176
2
I turned on airplane mode and fired up Apple Maps. It said to turn off airplane mode or use on wifi. Fired up Google maps and it seemed to work. So not sure what the difference between the two map apps. If I were to do this, in say, Nassau, would I be able to use one of the map applications without incurring roaming fees? I am guessing yes.

But still a bit confused. So which one to use.. airplane mode on/ wifi on or cellular data off. Or either.. both do the same thing?
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,504
16,010
Unless you really need something like GPS and it's not really working for you with airplane mode, it seems the safer way to go as far as avoiding any cellular usage (data or otherwise) would be to enable airplane mode and and then enable WiFi (and Bluetooth if needed). Provided that all you need is basically an equivalent of an iPod Touch with WiFi access.
 

jayes

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 11, 2011
176
2
Unless you really need something like GPS and it's not really working for you with airplane mode, it seems the safer way to go as far as avoiding any cellular usage (data or otherwise) would be to enable airplane mode and and then enable WiFi (and Bluetooth if needed). Provided that all you need is basically an equivalent of an iPod Touch with WiFi access.
I believe that will work for me. Basically want an iPod Touch with wifi access and camera so I don't come home to a $1000 VZN bill. I guess it would be nice to have GPS for the camera, but I prefer not to have to worry about data usage.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
Turning off cellular data means you can still receive calls and and texts just not access the Internet. Airplane mode turns off everything unless you turn on wifi. So if you want to avoid roaming, I would probably use airplane mode.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
5,542
6,500
Florida, USA
Another option to avoid roaming is to set a SIM PIN. Then, before you cross the border, turn your phone off, then back on, but do not enter the PIN. As long as you do not enter the PIN, your phone will NOT be able to roam on any network, yet you will still have GPS available.

When you return home just enter the PIN to unlock the SIM and you're good to go.

I did this in Canada the first time I went; the next time I just bought an intl data package from AT&T so I could actually use my phone.
 

jayes

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 11, 2011
176
2
Turning off cellular data means you can still receive calls and and texts just not access the Internet. Airplane mode turns off everything unless you turn on wifi. So if you want to avoid roaming, I would probably use airplane mode.
From my iPhone 6, iOS 8.02 Turn off cellular data to restrict all data to wifi, including email, web browsing and push notifications.

I'm confused.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
47,504
16,010
From my iPhone 6, iOS 8.02 Turn off cellular data to restrict all data to wifi, including email, web browsing and push notifications.

I'm confused.
But that won't affect calls or text messages as cellular is still active and something could potentially come through or get sent (if you text someone for example). So basically the safer way in instances like this is to use airplane mode.
 

WJKramer

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2008
422
39
This is actually one of the biggest flaws of Airplane mode.



GPS is only a receiver. It does not transmit. Therefore there is NO REASON to turn it off when you enable airplane mode. Yet it does.



The only way to completely disable the cellular radio without turning off GPS is to remove your SIM card or set a PIN on the SIM card and not enter it after rebooting.



Apple should fix this, by either:



- Adding a separate GPS switch along with Wi-Fi.

- Not having airplane mode turn off the GPS receiver.

Actually Apple is/was correct, GPS receivers were not permitted in flight for passengers. Not sure if that remains true post electronic device rule change.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,485
109
Kansas, USA
From my iPhone 6, iOS 8.02 Turn off cellular data to restrict all data to wifi, including email, web browsing and push notifications.

I'm confused.
Yeah. Turning off cellular data just means you're turning off Internet access over your cell phone network. You can still turn on wifi. The difference between turning off cellular data and turning on airplane mode is that airplane mode doesn't allow calls or texts to come through while turning off cellular data does. Turning off cellular data basically gives you a dumb phone unless you have wifi access. Some people use it if they have a limited data plan and are getting close to going over.
 

6836838

Suspended
Jul 18, 2011
1,537
1,295
My biggest issue is that even with English(UK) language settings, it's still called 'Airplane', rather thank 'Aeroplane' Mode.
 

benji888

macrumors 68000
Sep 27, 2006
1,741
341
United States
I'm thinking about my next trip out of the country. Is "turn off cellular" the same as turning on airplane mode and then turning wifi on? Do both actions accomplish the same thing? Just want to make sure I won't get dinged for roaming when I use my iPhone for music and camera.
Just take the SIM out of your phone and you won't get cell service, but, you can still use your phone as an iPod touch: Wifi, bluetooth, GPS will all still work, just no cell service at all. Safest way to go.

The other option is to buy a prepaid SIM card for a carrier in the other country (when you get there), but, that requires an unlocked phone, and depends on which phone you have as to compatibility.

(just remember to put the SIM back in when you get home. Maybe put it in something bigger, like a ziplock bag or a small box, so you don't lose it.)